StriVectin-SH Replenishing Cleanser (Discontinued)
4 fl. oz. for $29
Category:Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths) > Cleansers/Soaps
Last Updated:09.04.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This expensive cleanser has some great qualities that make it an option for dry to very dry skin. One of its weaknesses (other than the sticker shock—no question that there are less expensive cleansers available that work better than this one) is that some of the oils and emollients it contains don't rinse well, so expect to use a washcloth to avoid leaving an oily residue on your skin.

The residue issue isn't a big problem and, in fact, can be helpful for extra dry skin, but it's something we want to make you aware of because not everyone with dry skin will like how this makes your skin feel after it's rinsed.

The NIA-114 ingredient mentioned in the claims is myristyl nicotinate. This ingredient is similar to niacinamide, the B vitamin that helps improve the skin's barrier function among several other benefits. There isn't much NIA-114 in this cleanser, however, and it's rinsed down the drain before it can have much benefit,but more important, the emollient ingredients play a much greater part in helping to preserve the skin's protective barrier during cleansing.

This cleanser is provisionally recommended assuming you don't mind its high price. Also, despite not listing "fragrance," this contains two ingredients (methyldihydrojasmonate and hexamethylindanopyran) whose sole function is fragrance. Their inclusion makes this cleanser a poor choice for extra-sensitive skin. For other skin types, it's okay because the amount of these ingredients is low and it's a rinse-off product.

  • Creamy formula protects very dry skin during the cleansing process.
  • Removes makeup easily.
  • Won't leave dry skin feeling tight or uncomfortable.
  • Helps protect skin's barrier during cleansing.
  • Expensive.
  • Contains two ingredients whose sole purpose is fragrance, and those components are known to cause irritation. (Be aware that you may think this is fragrance-free when scanning the label because "fragrance" isn't listed.)

Non-stripping cream cleanser restores moisture levels and essential oils as it quickly removes impurities. Makeup disappears. Pollution, mascara and even red lipstick vanishes immediately. Our proprietary NIA-114 preserves skin's protective barrier so your skin looks soft and healthy.


Water, Propylene Glycol Dipelargonate, Octyldodecanol, Butylene Glycol, Polybutene, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Diisostearyl Malate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil (Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil), Polysorbate 40, Glycerin, Myristyl Nicotinate, Dimethicone, Oenothera Biennis Oil (Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil), Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Isopropyl Lanolate, Titanium Dioxide, Butyrospermum Parkii, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Urea, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Sodium PCA, Disodium EDTA, Trehalose, Polyquaternium-51, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Laurate, Triacetin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Benzoic Acid, Methyldihydrojasmonate, Hexamethylindanopyran, Isopropyl Myristate, Tetrahydro-methyl-methylpropyl)-pyran-4-ol (Isobutyl Methyl Tetrahydropyranol), Phenethyl Alcohol

Brand Overview

StriVectin At-A-Glance

Strengths: A good cleanser and a couple of worthwhile moisturizers.

Weaknesses: Expensive; The original (and now the "improved" StriVectin-SD product (and every other product sold under this brand name) is absolutely not better than Botox; some of the products contain irritant peppermint oil; the Deep Wrinkle serum is terrible.

We had previously written about the original StriVectin-SD, when a reader asked about its ability to repair stretch marks. That was StriVectin's initial claim to fame, though the fame was all self-promoted, as there is not a single independent, peer-reviewed study to prove that StriVectin is an effective option for repairing stretch marks. The studies that do exist about StriVectin's benefits for stretch marks were paid for by Klein-Becker, the company that distributes StriVectin (and is associated with Bremenn Research Labs, which has a growing history of trouble with the FDA and various watchdog advertising organizations).

According to the company's ads, they were surprised to find that not only was StriVectin-SD getting rid of women's stretch marks, but also that somehow their facial wrinkles were going away, too. This discovery lead to the astounding "antiwrinkle breakthrough of the decade." What followed were the now-famous magazine ads that posed the question of whether StriVectin was "Better Than Botox?" Not surprisingly, this ad captured the attention of millions of people concerned with mitigating signs of aging "without painful injections".

Regrettably, no supportive research needs to be available to sell this kind of hyperbole. All it takes is to promise women that a product will get rid of their wrinkles and they will buy it in droves, no matter how many other product lines, infomercials, advertisements, or cosmetics salespeople pledge the exact same thing. StriVectin isn't and was never "better than Botox"!

Of course, now the original, lauded StriVectin-SD product has been replaced by what the company describes as a "super-charged comprehensive skin repair cream for stretch marks, wrinkles, and aging skin". It seems there's no aging skin concern this product cannot address, but as it turns out, the updated formula presents the same drawbacks as the original, although it is arguably a better formulation (just not for stretch marks).

As for the rest of the StriVectin line, it contains proportionately more misses than hits. It isn't the anti-wrinkle answer and in fact some of their products contain the type of irritating ingredients that hurt your skin's ability to look and function in a younger manner.

For more information about StriVectin, call 1-800-430-0227 or visit www.strivectin.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

Member Comments
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Strivectin SH Replenishing Cleanser

This is the best cleanser I have tried in years. I'm in my mid 50's now living in a northern climate. Although it is expensive, one 4 oz tube lasts me about 6 months. I only need a dime to nickle size and it spreads easily over my face. It removes mascara and the rest of my 'face' with little effort. Although I remove it with a washcloth, there is no greasy residue. I previously used Ponds cold cream which cleansed and removed makeup, but left a greasy residue. This cleanser is my favorite strivectin product. I luck up and find it cheaper on other websites now and then, but since it lasts me a long time, I doubt I will change. I have ordered some Paula's Choice for anti-aging which have not arrived yet. I hope the cleaner is a close comparison. I' will shout it from the rafters if it is!!! By the way, my 21 yr old daughter used this in a pinch when she was home from college. She loved it (she has combination skin).

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